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Widow warns of asbestos dangers

The widow of a civil engineer who died after being exposed to asbestos has warned of the substance's dangers.

Yvonne Wilding's husband Roger died after being diagnosed with mesothelioma - an aggressive form of cancer caused by a prolonged exposure to asbestos.

Mrs Wilding believes the 72-year-old, who died in May 2013, might have breathed in harmful fibres during his time as a civil engineer for Severn Trent Water Authority, reports the Gloucestershire Echo

One of the widow's main reasons for this theory is that multiple renovations took place to a building at Southwick Park on the edge of Tewkesbury during his career at the authority in the mid-1970s.

Asbestos was commonly used as an insulative material at this time and the full extent of its dangers were not known. Mrs Wilding wants other people like her husband to be careful about the kinds of carcinogenic substances they are in contact with on a daily basis. 

The widow is now investigating the extent to which Severn Trent Water Authority may have been liable for her husband's death.

"I know he would want to warn others of the dangers of having worked with asbestos. I would urge anyone who worked at Southwick Park and thinks they may have come into contact with asbestos to see their doctor," Mrs Wilding commented.

"To watch Roger die from this horrendous disease was heart-breaking for me ... we were looking forward to many more years together."

Mrs Wilding is now working with local industrial disease case specialist solicitors to discover the specifics of the case and wants other people who worked on the site to come forward.

A spokesperson for Severn Trent Water released a statement denying knowledge of any issues around asbestos at the site.

However, it did state this is an unfortunate situation and sent its thoughts to Mr Wilding's family.

Although asbestos is no longer used in the construction sector, cases of mesothelioma are still relatively common among people that were involved in building projects in the 1960s and 70s.

By Francesca Witney